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UTROSU Chapter 40

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“…Your majesty the emperor?”

Anastasia asked in a bewildered voice long after.

“Why is he here? It hasn’t been long since I woke up…….”

“He was passing by the palace and saw Lady Andrey.”

“……Ah.”

“Shall I take His Majesty inside?”

Anastasia hesitated because she didn’t have the courage to face him as soon as she woke up. But she soon nodded.

“……Yes.”

We’ll have to meet at least once anyway. Whenever we met, there was never a time when I didn’t tremble in front of that person. I’d rather see him sooner than later. And it just so happened that…… he wants to see me too.

A moment after Selene went out, there was a heavy sound of footsteps.

“…….”

Anastasia felt her heart tighten, she clasped the blanket without realizing it.

It was not long before he appeared. Seeing that he was dressed in perfect uniform, he seemed to be on his way from a political meeting.

Anastasia tried to stand up to be polite, but he quickly restrained her.

“Just sit down.”

“But…”

“Sit down, Empress.”

Anastasia eventually sat still and awkwardly looked away from him.

“I heard from Mrs. Rochester. Your Majesty brought me to the Imperial Palace.….”

“…….”

“Thank you. I’m sure you were very surprised…….”

At that moment, Anastasia’s lips froze to a halt. At the same time, Anastasia’s eyes turned away to Wilhelm.

Wilhelm gently grabbed Anastasia’s chin and made her look at him.

“You should look into people’s eyes when thanking someone.”

“…….”

“I’m glad you didn’t have any bruises.”

Wilhelm, who was carefully examining Anastasia’s face, muttered.

Anastasia was still hardened and could not say anything.

“They said you’d wake up within two days at the latest.”

Wilhelm’s brow frowned slightly.

“You’ve been asleep for three days, and if you don’t wake up today, I was going to kick everyone out.”

“…….”

“I’m just kidding. You should relax.”

He pulled away from Anastasia with a grinny smile.

But the heat remained the same where his touch was, and Anastasia could not move her lips for some time after that. Anastasia spoke again only after waiting for her fast-beating heart to calm down.

“What happened to the high priest?”

“…well, he’s not dead.”

Anastasia looked puzzled at his answer.

“The last time I heard it, he was able to breathe again.”

“That’s all. He’s still unconscious.”

Wilhelm replied, shaking his head.

“The doctors said they can’t guarantee when he will wake up. The priests are still treating him with divine power…….”

“Oh….”

“Don’t worry too much. It will take a long time but he will surely wake up.”

“……I hope he wakes up safely.”

“He’ll wake up safe and sound since he’s breathing. You even gave him the kiss of life.”

“The kiss of life?”

“Yes, everyone in the capital knows this story these days. That you saved the high priest with a kiss of life.”

“Oh….”

Are you talking about CPR?

Well, that’s not so wrong, but…….

The name seemed so grand that Anastasia was slightly ashamed.

“I know you don’t have divine power.”

Wilhelm asked in a curious voice.

“How did you save the high priest?”

That’s because I had received CPR training periodically for many years since I was in school…….

But she couldn’t tell him that, so Anastasia roughly said that she just remembered what she saw in an old book.

Luckily Wilhelm did not pry anymore. 

“And I heard you safely evacuated the people in chaos.”

“Oh….”

Anastasia asked quickly as if she had just remembered.

“Did anyone get hurt that day?”

“No one. Everyone went home safely.”

“That’s a relief.”

It was only then that Anastasia sighed with relief, and Wilhelm looked at her and spoke.

“Thank you.”

Anastasia looked at him in amazement, when she heard something completely unexpected. His expression was so serious that she thought she heard it wrong, so Anastasia kept staring at Wilhelm with a confused face. 

“For doing what I have to do.”

“……that’s what I should do as the empress.”

Anastasia, who answered modestly, added.

“I’m surprised you said so. I thought you wouldn’t like it this time, like last time.”

“What happened then…!”

Wilhelm spoke up as if he had something to say, but soon shut up as if he were cracking down on himself. And after a while he ended the conversation altogether.

“What happened then… What?”

“No, it’s okay. Anyway, I’ve confirmed you’re okay, so I’ll go. Get some rest.”. 

“…….”

“Take care of yourself.”

He turned around, leaving a short remark.

There was only a meaningless back view as his facial expression was not revealed, but Anastasia looked at him much deeper. 

Even after his back completely disappeared, she kept staring at the spot as if she were looking for a trace.

“……Thank you for coming.”

Reciting her true feelings that will never reach him

***

“Are you leaving already?”

Mrs. Rochester spoke to him as he came out of Anastasia’s bedroom and was about to return to the Central Palace. Wilhelm glanced at her and then retorted.

“There’s no reason to stay long.”

“But until yesterday…….”

“Mrs. Rochester.”

Wilhelm, anticipating her Mrs. Rochester’s next words, quickly cut her off.

“Keep it a secret from the empress that I’ve been here for the last three days.”

“How come?”

“…it wasn’t a very meaningful act.”

Wilhelm nodded slightly, narrowing his eyebrows.

“I just stopped by on my way back to the Central Palace after the political meeting to check her status? But….”

What do you mean? You’ve been here for an hour. 

Before Mrs. Rochester could express her bewilderment, Wilhelm continued.

“So, it wasn’t hard. I didn’t wait that long. But if the Empress hears about it, she might misunderstand.”

“Misunderstand…….”

“I….”

Wilhelm hesitated for a moment instead of answering immediately.

But soon he concluded without a hitch.

“You might have misunderstood that I was worried about the queen.”

“Oh, I just did it.”

When Mrs. Rochester heard Wilhelm’s answer, she asked in a quizzical voice.

“Wasn’t it?”

“……No.”

“I see. Of course, I thought you came ‘every day’ because you were worried about her Majesty.”

“It was just a status check.”

“If you say so…….”

But Mrs. Rochester’s expression while murmuring, did not seem to believe Wilhelm’s words.

………he’s obviously worried. It’s frustrating. They have a long way to go.

And so was the case. However, she nodded because she couldn’t refuse the emperor. 

“I’ll keep it a secret. Let’s keep it a secret for now.”

“For now?”

“I’ll keep it a secret.”

Mrs. Rochester quickly corrected herself. Wilhelm left the palace in disbelief.

And when he moved away from the palace, he asked Colton.

“Did Mrs. Rochester tell the Empress some useless things?”

“Well, there’s nothing we can do about that.”

“Ha, it’s not your job to be carefree.”

“What are you so worried about? Even if Mrs. Rochester broke her promise and told her Majesty, there would be nothing to worry about.”

“……what?”

“That’s right. Your relationship is not good, and I heard that you were angry with her Majesty when she returned from Santorov.”

“……that.”

“So even if Her Majesty finds out the truth, she will never take it as a concern. Do you think she would think His Majesty cared about her? That’s useless worry…”

“Lord Colton.”

Then Wilhelm gently interrupted Colton. When Colton was about to say he still had more to say, Wilhelm’s voice came faster.

“You speak very well, so I think you still have a lot of stamina. You can stay with me for a long time today.”

“What? No way, Your Majesty, you’re working overtime again…….”

“I’ll post a report on the drought in the North East by tomorrow.”

“Your Majesty, you said it was due next week! It’s cheating if you do this all of a sudden!”

Confused, Colton hurriedly protested, but Wilhelm did not stop as if he had no intention of listening.

Only Colton, with a bewildered look on his face, was frozen like a stone on the spot, and ran after him belatedly.

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”

“Oh, that’s too loud.”

Wilhelm kept walking, covering his ears, and Colton’s pleading cries echoed in all directions for a long time.

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Sienna

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